Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver Town Park 1935-1939  

. Section 16 - 500.90A 1835 Original Survey
Section 16 c. 1837 500.90A (North shore town and academy)

1872 - Section. 16
    Est. of I N Morris 105 A ( also 80 A)
    J. Duddleson - 30.60A & 10A
    T. Houghton 90A.
    J. HOughton Acreage not stated
    J ___ name illegible 4A
    G. A. Durr 10A
    Lot no name no acreage stated
    G. A. Durr 5A? - res (Lot 2 3A & 3A)
    Dr. Durr No amount Stated lots as if to be 2 large
    L D W [Lorenzo W. Wiseman]

Here is some interesting facts stated about the orginial property owners of the north side of the lake:
    Zina and Emma Duddleson .... The grandfather of Zina was a Civil War veteran and a farmer. His later years were lived in the Argos vicinity.

    The great-grandfather originally owned the Thomas Houghton farm to the Maxinkuckee Lake on the west side of Burr Oak Road. The land now occupied by the Vandalia Park, was part of this farm and was given to Dr. Durr in payment for medical services. The consideration was $50., as great-grandfather Duddleson considered it of little farming value......
    - History of Marshall County Indiana Sesquicentenial 1836-1986, Taylor Publishing Co., 1986, Publication # 357 of 1422, Marshall County Historical Society pg. 153 - Marcella White.

1876 - J. Castleman - 190A

1876 Section 16
    1850-1876 I. N. Morris 175/185a   [Isaac N. Morris] - 185 A

    1876 - J. Castleman

    At this time it looks as if they both owned parcels of land land that composed what is now the park area.

1880 North Section 16 - 500.90 Acres Town
    I N Morris 185.34
    B. W. Watt 15.50A
    LakeView Club 15A
    J Duddleson 109.31A
    Tho. Houghton 90A.
    J. E. Houghton 19.60A
    E Parker 27 A

By the 1880 plat map it appears that he was the owned the parcels of land land that compopsed what is now the park area. In between the ownership has not been fully determined as yet until the mention of Al Toner and the railroad is found:
    From the Logansport Pharos Tribune dated 15 Aug 1882:
    THE VANDALIA EXTENSION What a Kewana Citizen Thinks of tbe Projects Prospects Etc. The extending of the Vandalia line from this city to South Bend, via Kewanna and Marmont, a station just west of Maxenknckee, being built are becoming more flattering, and a citizen of Kewana, who was questioned by our reporter, expressed his belief that the road was now among the certainties. He said the foremost citizens of his town were putting forth their utmost efforts to aid the project and in fact some had really set aside all business and had given their entire attention to the scheme. Some time during September, probably the 14th, Union and Wayne townships, of Fulton county, will hold an election for the purpose of voting on the question of giving the Vandajia railroad the tax asked, by them to assist in building the extension. Kewanna, by her enterprising citizens, has already offered a large purse, which was made up by special collection. Thus theamount demanded of the two townships in Fulton county will at all events be secured. The road, if built, will pass through Wayne, Union and Aubbeenaubbee townships of Fulton county. The latter named has not been asked for a subsidy as it recently voted a tax to the Chicago and Pacific railroad and according to law is barred from voting aid to the Vandalia project. Al Toner, one of Kewanna's influential citizens, is that sure of the road being Built that he purchased twenty-six acres of land at Lake Maxinkuckee probably for speculative purposes. The land purchased is on the present site where it is thought the depot will be located. The citizens of Marmont are not behind in agitating the benefits to be derived from the building of the road, and will, it is understood, aid in its construction by giving liberally of their wealth. The project is a good one, and will be beneficial to Logansport; hence the Pharos wishes tne scheme success

From the Logansport Daily Journal page 3 dated Aug. 27, 1882:
    All the preliminaries for the extension of the Logansport branch of the Vandalia railway to Lake Michigan have been satisfactorily adjusted, and upon compliiance with a few easy conditions the contact will be closed, and the work will be commenced and pushed to completion.

    Readers of the Journal are familiar with the route of this line to Marmont (Maxinkuckee), and will have no difficulty in following it to South Bend and the lake...

    With these advantages before them, our citizens are asked to consider one of the conditions above named, which condition is that the right of way shall be furnished free to the new line thorugh our county. The estimated cost of this right of way is from $7,000 to $10,000 and it is proposed to raise the amount by subscription. A consideraable portion of this subscription has already been secured, and a committee appointed for that purpose will make an effort to raise the remainder during the present week...

1883 - Oct 6 - The.Vandaiia railroad company commenced laying iron at Marmount a d ay or two ago, and-withln a short time the tract will be completed from Maxinkuckee lake to the Nickle Plate railroad, a distance of about three miles,- Logansport Pharos Tribune

We know that Albert "Al" Toner, purchased twenty-six acres of land at Lake Maxinkuckee probably for speculative purposes. He probably sold some of this area as noted below to the railroad and the rest he platted the Toner Addition which was added on 5 August 1886 to the town of Marmont now Culver by Albert D. Toner (Lakeshore Drive). During this time the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad was slowly expanding its line up to Culver, finally arriving June 30th and then on to South Bend and became known as the Vandalia; one train daily at first ran.

The railroad also bought out the Lake View Club and its 15 acres to the east becaming a part of the "Vandalia Park" and converted it to the Lake View Hotel.
1886 - Lakeside Vandalia Park was established - Yet it is said that they established Vandalia Park sometime in 1883 , 1889 and yet another source says as late as 1890. The Vandalia Park encompassed an area of 3.2 acres. Yet from the Logansport Journal May 15, 1886 pg. 3 under Maxenkuckee Notes is:
    The Vandalia Company have purchased a nice piece of ground from Mr. Toner and will convert it into a park and picnic ground for the benefit of excursionists and others visiting the lake.

Its also infered that the 'Boat and Bath house' was said to have been built in 1886 - it is said that this was the Mosher Boathouse, ran by M. F. Mosher until the Vadalia Railroad purchased it in 1894 {sic an ad by Mosher was in the Agriculture fair book of 1895} and thus became a part of the Vandalia Park. when it took over the park. Monton H. Foss operated the Boat and Bath house.

1898 - Section 16
    L. C. Dillion - 10A, 99.31A, 79.76, 75.60A
    T. Houghton 89A
    A. Roughton
    E. Duddle(son) 9.60A
    E. Morris 21.49A/Morris Lake Front Plat
    T. H. & L RRR Lake View Club 15 A.
    J. J. Bryant
    Incorporated Limits of Culver

1899 - May 19 - Capt. Morris is now sole owner of the bath-house and fixtures, which will be conducted in connection with his boat house. He has as fine a line of clinker row boats as can be found at any resort in the state, also several yachts. Parties can rent boats of the captain by the hour, week or for the season.

1900 - Evermans' Biological Survey

1902 - Vandalia expanded the park - Found in the Fourth annual report was:
    The charges to Construction and Equipment paid for out of new capital was as follows:...Picnic grove purchased at Culver 4,524.90 - pg. 10 Fourth Annual Report of The Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Company For Year Ending December 31, 19O2. Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Co.

    In order to provide facilities for entertaining picnic parties at Lake Maxinkuckee during the summer season and also to prevent the probable purchase of the property by undesirable parties it was thought best to purchase an oak grove of about ten acres fronting the lake and adjacent to the company's station and property. Several expensive improvements authorized - pg. 11 Fourth Annual Report of The Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Company For Year Ending December 31, 19O2. Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Co.


" 1922

This is the park area by the 1922 plat map; it actual in reality extened into what is the 'Indian Trails and was the property of the Lake View Hotel since it was also under the ownership of the Vandalia Railroad. This also shows the location of the boathouse.

1922 - Vandalia Park - Vandalia Railroad

In 1935 Culver purchased the town park for $6,500 this included 3.2 acres and buildings excluding the depot and adjacent land; it also included Bunker Hill and the old water tower of 2.2 acres.
The announcement was made by W.O. Osborn, attorney for the town trustees. Citizens of Culver were delighted These were the headlines in the Culver Citizen on February 20, 1935.
The Pennsylvania RR Sells Vandalia Park.
    The sale of Vandalia Park by the Pennsylvania Railroad to the town of Culver was announced yesterday, and is the culmination if several months of negotiaion. The transaction included the 3.2 acres comprising the present park and 2.2 acres of the site of the old water tower.

1935 - Feb 17 Park Boat House Destroyed By Fire

1935 - Feb 20 Town Buys Park Site
    Pennsylvania Railroad Sells Vandalia Park

    The Sale of Bandalia Park, which borders on Lake Macinkuckee, by the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Town of Culver was announced yesterday by W. O. Osborn, attorney for the town trustees, and is the culmination of several months; negotiations.

    The contract for the sale has been signed by officials of both parties and the deed will be delivered within a few yars.

    THe sale price is $6,5000, the amount appropriated for this purpose last December.

    The transaction includes the 3.2 acres comprising the present park, running between the lake shore and the railroad from 200 feet beyond the boat house to the end of the triangle at Washington Street. Also 2.2 acres of the site of the old water tower at Bunker Hill, as well as buildings in the park proper.

    Reservations Made.

    The railroad included in the contract the reservation that it was not to be required at any future time to pay for the installation or a grade, overhead, or undergrade crossing, or to be assessed for any improvements

    The purchase of the park is a master stroke by the town board as it assures Culver of a public park under its own control

    Now the board will be able to make such improvements that will make the park a drawing carn the will bring financial returns to Culver manu times over the cost.

    Problem of Upkeep

    Ever since the railroad has felt that decresead passenger traffic has not justified its expense in keeping up the park, attempts have been made to protect the town's interests by buying the site, but rental on a yearly basis was the exctent of control given until the purchase was completed yesterday.

    The final movement to secure the park was inaugurated by the Culver City Club, which enlisted the co-operation of other civic gropus and presented the need to the town board. The trustees opened ngotiations with officals of the railraod and found that this time they were in a receptive mood to dicuss terms.

1935 - Feb 27 - The Lake Park
    It is almost beyound conception the probable importance to this community of the purchase of Vandalia Park by the town board

    At times in the past commercial interests have tried to secure this land upon which to locate a "White City" or some other type of amusment.

    This would of closed the laast public contact with Lake Maxinkuckee.

    Then there was the possibility that it might be made a state park, but then it would have been fontrolled by politically-appointed officals in Indianapols, and pliticians have been known to do some things that have not always been to the best interests of the public. Besides, an official a hubdred miles from here would hardly know the best policy for this park and community as all can not should not be measured by the same yardstick

    In the years of their prospertiy the Pennsylvannia railroad has beyond criticism of their care and conduct of the park, but naturally when excursions to the lake were longer profitable the park became a liability and he railraid was not justified in spending money annually for its upkeep

    It should be said her that the Pennsylvania officials have always been more than fair to this community and have protected local interests when it would have been a financial gain for them to have done otherewise. Their generous dealings in selling the park to the town have placed this town in their debt for years to come.

    Now thousands of people come to the lake each year in their automobiles, besides the large number of this community that enjoy the lake the year around, but especially the swims in its cooling waters at the end of a hot day.

    Just how large an asset the lake is to the town can not be figured in dollars and cents, but would be nothing short of tragic.

    In recent years the town has been leasing the park from the railroad company on a yearly basis. This arrangement did not justify any improvements to the park by the board, yet did allow a general upkeep of the park.

    Now that the town owns the park real opportunities for vision, planning action present themselves to the town board.

    The burning of the old boat house presents the most pressing need as an adequate structure should be at the swimming beach for the summer season or the number of visitors to the park will decline.

    An attractive building with the necessary facilities will do much to mak Lake Maxinkuckee still more attractive to visitors, and a structure made of brick and fireproof throughout seems the logical type.

    The improving of the rest of the park would then follow as rapidly as the town board feels itself dinancially able, but these improvements have been delayed for so long that any further postonement is undesirable for the best interest of the park

    New and attractive tables and benches are needed, fireplaces would be a welcomed addition, adequate policing is vital, landscaping and upkeep are necessary, and improvement of the beach and shore line seems imperative.

    Play equipment in the park and in the water is an item to remember for the future.

    This park forms what us probably the most valuable peice of lake property in the state, and the town boioad has performed a monumental service to the community in securing it. If there officials do nothing else during their term of office they will have justified the confidence of the people in electing them

    In this connection acknowledge should be made to others who assisted in securing the park. The Culver City Club proved its civis interests by promoting the movement and securing the support of other local groups. W. O. Osborn, as town attorney, played an important role in his diplomatic handling of the transaction that brought the long-desired project into reality and saved the town a considerable sum in the low price paid for the two plots.

    The buying of the park forms a red letter point in local history and its importance and value will grow as the years roll by.

1935 - Dec 11 - Decision to re-build the boat house

1935 - Don't Forget, Boys to Start your Bird House
    Boys of the community are reminded that now is the time to start building birf houses to compete for the $10 cashe pricses and other attractive prized to be awarded by the Bird Sanctuary Fish Club.

    These houses will be placed in the town park as an added attraction to birds.

    These house should be practical.

    Aby further information may be secured from Charles Cowen.

1935 - Apr 10 - ...Ir was announced that the board expected Vigil Simmomns head of the Department of Conversvation, to visit Lake Maxinkuckee this week to give suggestions on the improvement of the town park

1935 - Apr 17 - Price Offered for Best Flower Bed in Town Park
    A five dollar prices is being offeded by the Eldeen Club for the best flower bed in Vandalia Park this summer. Each bed is to be sponsored by some clun or organization.

    The offer is maed to stimulate interest in beautifing the park as the town board has announced that it has no funds with which to take care of these flower beds and otherwise improve the appearance of the park.

    Rather than see the park become a drab spot along the shores of Indiana's most beautiful lake the Eldeen Club is making this cash prize offer. Other clubs or individuals interested in the park are invited to post any other prizes as they see fit.

    The Culver City Club and the Eldeen Club have indicated that they will sponsor a flower bed, and others are urged to follow their lead. Only existing flows beds are to be planted this year.

1935 - Jun 19 - Variety of Spice of Business for Town Trustess - ...The board approved the pier bing built by Russell McFarland in the town park although recognizing the need, possibly next year, of regulating the building og piers on the public land.

1935 - June 26 - The town park is being prepared for the picknickers. Mrs. Buffington has removed her refreshment stand from Lake Shore Drive o a location near the bathing peirs, Ed Boberg has opeded the round stand, the irom benches have been repainted and the wooden tables, seats and lovely trash boxes will be when the weather permits them to dry out, and a border of flowers will be planter along the shore.

1935 - Sep 18 - It was reported that the project to build a boat house in the town park was sent to Washington on Sept. 3...

1936 - Oct. 2 - Passing of an Old Settler - One of the giant willows in the town park was cut down last week. It measured 62 inches in diameter. It was dying as the result of the burning of the bath house.

1935 - Oct 9 - The removal of the rock garden from the town park was ordered since it did not fit in with the landscaping plan. It was decided that a new well should be duf at some future time at the site of the present on that has lost its usefulness

1936 - Feb. 5 - Work Suspended on Bath House Project

    The men formerly used on this project are now working in digging dirt from Bunker Hill and building the road along the lake at the park

    Dynamite is being used to break up the frozen ground.

    It is planned to put rocks along the lake road to keep it from washing out.

1936 - Mar 4 - Improving Beach Along Town Park Shoreline
    The beach along the town park is being improved by WPA workers, who are dumping gravel out to a deistance of about 50 feet.

    The gravel was first places on the ice until the weight sank the ice to the bottom. At first it was feared thae cakes would float out into the lake and wast the gravel, but the heavy weight was enoughj to hold the ice in place unil it nelted and placed the gravel just whereit was Wanted.

    Part of this beach was coverd with weeds and was unfit for bathing, but now the whole area will be suitable for public use.

1936 - Mar 4 - Town Fathers Study Bricks; None Thrown

    Filling in Park

    WPA Foreman Harry Menser stated that the site of the old bath house was being filled in and the low land at the east end of the park was being levelled off...

1936 - Apr 22 - Management of WPA Progects Here is Praised
    Work On the new bathe house remains at a standstill. All excavation has been finished, but the shipment of lumber for the forms has not been received and no more work can be fone intil it arrive. all other materials are on had for starting the foundation... The cutting down of Bunker Hill and filling in of the town park continues.

    When completed there will be ample parking space in the levelled area and more room for picnics in the east end of the park

    The bathing beach will also be enlarged and imporved.

1936 - Apr 22 - ...Supplies Occupy Town Board
    ...A representative of a playground equipment company explained the advantages of his product and suggested a set-up for the revamped park. The board stated that nor order for such equipment was planned at this time, but might be considered later after the park and bath house had been completed...

1936 - May 27 - Installing Playground Equipment in Park - The new playground equipment recently purcashed by the town board is being installed in the east end of the park. Work started yesterday. The quipment was purchased of E. A. Thessin, local representative for a leading manufacturer...

1936 - May 27 - Local WPA Work Get Increas in Man Power
    Thirty-two new men were added today to the forve working on local WPA projets...

    Most of the men will join the gang putting in curbs and side walks. It is planned to put an eight-foor sidewalk along the lake front in the park and to finish the lake road...

1936 - Building Walks and Wall in Town Park
    WPA workmen have started the building of a cement sidewalk along the lake fron in the town park.

    The lake is to be eight feet wide from the east end of the park to the round stand and five feet winfe to the west boundary line.

    A stone wall is being built along the shore from the round stand to near the viaduct. The wall will be about two feet high and will protect the oradway from the water

    When this is completed the workmen will finish off the high bank and build steps down to the lake.

1936 - Jul 8 - Extend Park Road South Along Lake
    The road that has been built from the viaduct at the end of Washington street along the lake into the town park is being extended south along the lake shore.

    WPA workmen are handling th project, using dirt from the parking area on Bunker Hill. There is a possiblility that the road will eventually extend to Mill street

    The building of sidewalks in the park has been suspended until the bath hous is nearer completeion.

    A five-foot walk has been laid from the freight hour to the round stand, an eight foot walk from the other side of the stand to the bath house, and a six-foot walk from the other side of the bath house to the east enf of the park.

    Along the the latter stretch a stone retaining wall was been built, adding to the attractivenss of the park as well as furnishing a convenient place to sit and watch the lake.

1936 - Aug 5 - The board announced that Fritz Kemple had been emplueed as caretaker and life guard at the town park

1936 - Oct. 7 - The shelter on the railroad property near the town park has been taken down by WPA workmen and will be erected at the West end of the park to conform with the one at the opposite end of the park.

1936 - Oct 21 - Park Shelter to Stay Decree of Town Fathers
    The shelter at the west end of the town park, which was the center of considerable discussion last week, is to remain where it is. This was the verdict of the town board at its meeting Monday night after reviewing the ojections set forth int a petition filed by a number of citizens. It was pointed out by the board members that the shelter was almost completed and that at a cost of $30 the structure could be finished.

    It was decided not to put a cement floor in the shelter as was orignally planned

    1937 - March 24 Shilling Gets Lease to Operate New Bathe House
      The new Culver bath house has been leased for five years to Oliver Shilling, the town board annoucnes after consideration of the vrious offers.

      Mr. Shilling intends to equip the five upstairs rooms with new beds and inner spring mattresses for rental to tourists and vacationers. The second floor will be used for bathers dressing rooms, while on the first floor Mr. Shilling plans to install an ice cream fountain along with show cases to display merchandise such as beach balls, bathing caps and shors, souvenirs, toy boats. etc.

      The beach is to be lighted for use at night and it is planned to bring in white sand to improve the bathing beach. Boats will be provided for fishing and pleasure use. No beer or liquors will be sold on the premsis, Mr. Shilling annouces.

      He will prepare the building for a publice opening as soonas the workmen have finished the contruction work, which it is hoped will by my May 15th

    1937 The boathouse was replaced by the Culver Public Beach Lodge, a WPA project. It opened in May of 1937.

    1937, May 26 - Bath House To Be Open To Public Sunday

    On May 30, 1937 the Beach House was opened to the public.

    1937 - June 23 - Mr. and Mrs. G. Cultice opened restaurant in Culver Beach Lodge

    Aug. 4, 1937 - Mrs. Hugh Harper took over management of the Beach Lodge, which will now be known as the Culver Beach Resort. The first innovation will be eight modern hotel cabins installed to the east of the bath house. A dining room, featuring chicken and steak dinners, is to be placed on the first floor.

    1937 - Aug. 11 - Lodge Picture in "Outdoor Indiana"

    1937 - Aug 18 - The sub-lease of the bath house to Mrs. M. L. Harper by Oliver SHilling and a contract between Mrs. Harper and the town board were signed by the contracting parties.

    1938- Mar 23 - Town Dads Plan Larger Pier for Town Park
      A larger pier in front of the Culver Deach Resort will greet bathers this summer, according to plans made by the town board at its meetign Monday night.

      The board also discussed the need of new picnic table, beches, and a walk from th railroad track to the bath house...

    1938 - Apr 13 - May Install Life Guard At Park Bathing Beach
      A proposal to provide a life guard at the town park bathing beach was considered at the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Monday noon, but the matter of finances delafed any final action.

      A trained Red Cross life quard can be secured for about $200 for the swimming season and he would be on hand to give swimming instruction as well as patrol the beach...

    1938 - May 4, 1938 Town Board Plans Large Pier at Park
      A pier in Lake Maxinkuckee that will meet the demands of the large crowds that enjoy bathing at the town park is planned by the town dads, but those dignitarieds are fiding a lack of material a major obstacle.

      It is planned to use cedar in building the pier, but lumbar supply companies state they are unable to locate such timber, which withstands water and weather better than the more common kinds of wood.

      The board plans to have the pier in use withing three wees and if no cedar is located within a day or two a treated pine will be substituted.

      The pier will extend 70 feet into the lake and will be eight feet in width, which will make it the best pier hat hjas ever been erected at the popular town park.

    1938 - Jul - Favorable Westher Draws Happy Throughs to Park Parked Cars line Streets
      ...By noon the town park was vrowded and all facilities were taxed to handle the unexpexted throng. The towh board had supplied a number of new picnic tables,but still the demand exceeded the suplu.

      The Culver Beach Resort has all of its cabins filled and its lodge was a beehive of activity from early morning to late night. The swimming beach was a mecca as visitors enjoyed a cooling splash in the water or sunned themselves on the sandy beach...

    1939 - May 3 - Town Dads Pan New Boat Pier With an "If"
      The town board decided Monday night to build a new and larger boat pier at the Town Park at an estimated cost of $450-$475.

      The dock would be about 14 feet wide and 100 feet long.

      This the town will do, the board told Oliver SHilling when he requested the new pier, if $100 are raised by popular subscription to help defray the expense...

    1939 - May 24 - Announce Summer Recreation Program - ...2:00 to 5:00 p.m. the smaller children will find enjoyment on the new all-metal slide the two trustees have placed in the town park, along with new sand boxes...

    1939 - Oct 4 - To Plant Trees - About 25 to 30 elm trees are to be planted in the playground area of the Town Park this fall it was decided Monday night by the town board. This part of the park is quite bare now and in a few years the new trees will add much to the appearance of the playround.

    1939 - Dec 6 - Town Board Adjusts Bath House Steup
      A rearrangement of the lease on the bath house was made btween the town board and Mrs. M. L. Harper at the board's meeting Monday night so that the town will assume the cost of operating the toliets for public

      The town is to pay for cost of toilet accessories, water, and lifht, including lights on the porch.

      A credit of $300 was granted for the cost of this items during the past three years.

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